The Creekside Eatery in the Commons is no longer offering morning breakfast hours, and dinner hours have been shortened. Scott Evers, the area manager for NANA Management Services said that spring semester will offer the weekend services instead of weekday options of breakfast, lunch, dinner and late nights.
“Fridays for this semester, we are offering three different meal services: brunch, dinner, and late night. It was several things,” Evers said regarding Friday breakfast no longer being offered. “We have now revamped the whole commons. We did that in a very short amount of time. There are a lot of classes that are not offered on Fridays and we felt that we were going to try it out as a pilot program to see how it was perceived. We are still waiting for feedback with the students to see if we still want to go this way.”
When asked about how students were informed about this switch from morning hours of 7 – 10 a.m. to brunch which will be 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Evers said Seawolf Dining explained everything on their social media.
Seawolf Dining’s Facebook page did post on Jan. 27, the day the Eatery first closed breakfast, at 8:58 a.m., almost two hours after their normal hours.
The day of the transition, the Seawolf Dining web page had not been updated to reflect the new hours, and in a fifteen minute period around 9 a.m., six or more students walked into the Eatery to be turned away. When asked about this, Evers was surprised. When staff at the Eatery were asked about the transition on Jan. 27, they were surprised about the transition and the web page not being updated as well.
David Weaver, director of Housing, Dining and Conference Services, said that the change was prompted by a lower rate of students living on campus.
“This academic year, we have the fewest students on meal plans in quite a few years,” Weaver said. “I believe this is related to the State’s economic crisis, higher than normal unemployment, people leaving Alaska and tuition price increases prompting students to live at home with parents, and take fewer classes, or time off from school to work. Because of fewer students on meal plans supporting dining operations across campus, we’ve had to make some tough choices. One was to switch Friday meal service at Creekside from breakfast and lunch to just brunch.”
Weaver also said that not many students utilized last semester’s Friday breakfast hours.
“To be honest, very few students swiped into breakfast on Fridays before 10 a.m., so I hoped it would not impact students much at all,” Weaver said.
Ian Mills, economics major, was one student in residential housing that did like to swipe in before 10 a.m., but Mills said that was before the breakfast option was cut. Mills said he was especially surprised by the cut because he never saw flyers advertising the close.
“Well, lots of weekends I like to get an early start, I don’t sleep in very long, and it was nice to be able to eat something before I went out and ran errands or studied or whatever it was that I was trying to do,” Mills said. “That’s kind of hard now that the Bear [Necessities] is closed all mornings before 10:30 [a.m.] and the Commons is closed before 10 [p.m.]. It’s really kind of late for breakfast at that point.”
Mills noted that even though the commons has been renovated, that some of the renovation promises, like the TVs advertised on design plans, never came to fruition.
“They told us that they were putting TVs on all these posts and we see how that turned out. The posters that are up by the door advertise TVs on the posts. Six flat screen TVs were advertised in the remodel,” Mills said. “It’s kind of frustrating, because we paid, we kind of entered into an informal contract with them under the expectations that we would receive the same services we’ve been receiving for the same price we’ve been paying for those services, and they decreased the amount of service we are receiving, and they didn’t decrease the price we are paying.”
Creekside Eatery’s reduced hours on Friday followed a Seawolf Dining decision last semester to take away the Union Station’s ability to accept dining dollars.